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Steve Sviggum among the many departed GOP Senate staff

The longtime Minnesota public official is among 35 Senate GOP staff members whose positions were eliminated with the downsizing to minority status.

Steve Sviggum is among the 35 staff members of the Senate Republican caucus whose positions were eliminated with the downsizing that comes with minority status.
MinnPost photo by James Nord

Longtime Minnesota public official Steve Sviggum is among the 35 staff members of the Senate Republican caucus whose positions were eliminated with the downsizing that comes with minority status.

Sviggum’s last paycheck, along with those for the other 34, was issued last Friday.

Sviggum, who was hired last January as executive assistant and communications director for the then-majority caucus, had indicated before the holidays that he expected to leave his position.

“I did tell David [Senjem, former majority leader] that I’d stay with him through the elections, but I’m not sure it might not be best for me not to come back,” Sviggum said in an interview in mid-December.

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At the time, Sviggum was anticipating that the Republican caucus would have to cut up to 25 positions, a prediction that was on the low side. The new DFL majority caucus reduced the GOP staff to 39 from 74, four fewer staff members than the DFL had with its minority status.

Sviggum, 61, has held a variety of top posts in state government, including House speaker, commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry, and a member of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.

He said with such drastic staff reductions, he felt that the remaining jobs should go to younger staff members with growing families and needs.

But there was a tinge of sadness in his voice as he described his affection for his job: “I enjoy going down talking to the press. The Capitol has been my home.”